Thursday, September 19, 2013

Music Review: Daniel Graves' Aesthetic Perfection

It is not a comment on society. It is not a forum for philosophy.  It
is not your new voice. It is not a revolution.  Without form, without
ego or intention, Aesthetic Perfection is music without a cause.
Influences are combined, songs composed. Audio is recorded, edited,
arranged and mixed. Music designed without purpose.

Daniel Graves.....Aesthetic Perfection

Far be it from me, as a listener and reviewer, to nay say the above.
I am not even going to say But.  Yet.  Though I am going right now to
look up the word confrontational.  Ah here it is.  I am
confrontational too, I see.  I think I am slightly less
confrontational than I used to be though.  Thats probably because I am
a lot older than I used to be.  OK. I will just deal with it, and be
glad thats out of the way.

I have listened to a lot of crap in my life, though most times I am
not so forthcoming about it.  I do not want to ever foil, discourage,
or Gott verbieten, even kill art.  No, I would never do that.  But the
effort is sometimes a lot.  A Lot.  Its just my little cross to bear,
here in this funny place where I exist, whose entrance was a vagina,
of all things.  I doubt if I will leave here in as good a position as
when I came in, either.  Too.  Whatever.

Reiterating: I will never ever knowingly knock anything that even
resembles art, and besides, there are many really fine artists @
Earth, its just that I listen to the really good ones so much I burn
out on them.  I am in the process of doing that now, with the music of
Aesthetic Perfection, who is Daniel Graves, and who reminds me, as a
talent, of Trent Reznor.  Mostly because he is one guy, and only uses
other talents live.  Understand this too: when I first listened to
Nine Inch Nails, it was very very different music.  When I bought
Reznors Pretty Hate Machine all those years ago it was a total gamble.
 I liked the name of the cassette (!) and I liked the name of the
group, but there was no listening ahead of time, no internet, and
certainly no pre-exposure by the insane clowns in mainstream media.
I had to be one of the very first customers of NIN, and I was going
out on a limb because there was just nowhere else to go; even back
then I was totally fried on the nepotistic mediocre repititious
redundant anti-intellectual BS pushed on the listening audiences of
the world I lived in.

Yes that sux, it sux bad, but I fight, and I put as much effort into
my fighting  as I do in encouraging art.  It literally takes pieces of
me, gobs of flesh, to do this at times, is what I mean to say.

What else is there though?  Nothing.  No Thing.

Please do not confuse my reference to Nine Inch Nails here...there may
be some similarities between Reznors first effort and Violent Emotion,
the second CD of Daniel Graves, aka Aesthetic Perfection, yes there
are a few, but Aesthetic Perfection is so new and good sounding to
these tired old ears that I am sitting here writing about it.  And the
test of tests:  I BOUGHT the cd!  I do not do that much anymore.  Most
times I am happy tracking down the things I like, which, because of
the really crappy physical media over the decades, have all gone to
heaven a few times at least.  Mom dumped all the vinyl years ago, my
Hawkwind, my Isao Tomita, my KRAFTWERK for Gotts sake...and then of
course I fell into the trap,  the literal PIT which anyone my age fell
into, the ever present and ever deteriorating years of cassettes and 8
track tapes.  What a joke.  I don't even want to think about all that.
 It is the most embarassing experience of my life.  I sometimes pray
MUD ???  Just another little cross to bear, here in the land of
cruci-fiction and Fox news.

Back to Aesthetic Perfection, the band, and the CD "A VIOLENT
EMOTION".  I hear many oddly familiar things here too, things that
were almost there 20+  years ago, but still growing: foetus, Boris
Mikulic, 3 teens kill 4, Controlled Bleeding, Tones on Tail,
Finitribe, SP, TKC, you get it...all the once exciting stuff which I
now know verbatim; the music that has become some sort of jaded
calliope, which is now just the background music in my dreams. Daniel
Graves adds another twist to this, a clarity and brightness which has
been a long time coming, but no less powerful for all that.  He has
learned his lessons thoroughly, and his ear is professional and
creative.  He evokes and he elicits and he knows how and he does it

I'd been surfing, a perfect place to hunt the kind of
things I am looking for, and I was just doing the lists, giving songs
15-20 seconds to impress me.  Hardly any did.  Then I got an Aesthetic
Perfection.  I let it play.  I played another, then watched the video.
 It was The Great Depression.  Then I heard Living the Wasted Life.
That was the one.  I went right to I-tunes and bought the CD, didn't
think twice, been listening ever since.  It is bad ass, It is sick, It
is the Illest, I cannot get over It.  There are only two tunes I don't
care for, and they are a nice contrast to the otherwise Buddha Bear
Skunk Kind which is what the rest of the work reminds me of.  There is
just none better right now.  And I know.  Believe me.  I know.  The
whole damned thing fills me with a glowing Schadenfreude I did not
even realize was possible at this stage of the game.  It is
anti-despair.  Thanks D,  I don't care what it is or isn't, it is
strength and you are generous.  Keep Going.

Aesthetic Perfection is more than just rain in the desert,  more than
just food to a starving man: it is like having a friend jump into the
fray as I am getting my butt kicked by 12 or 13 faceless stinking
zombies all wearing nothing but puke green t-shirts emblazoned with
two letters in dark purple -- FM.    The only negative to Aesthetic
Perfections  "A Violent Emotion" is the fact that the cd glaringly
highlights the...ehhhhh.....mediocrity to which my ears are generally
subjected, and thats unpretty, but I am used to unpretty here in La La
Land.  It is the normal state of things in fact.  Fortunately there
are Deviations occasionally.

A Violent Emotion
        1.      The Violence
        2.      Spit it Out
        3.      Schadenfreude
        4.      The Siren
        5.      A Quiet Anthem
        6.      Living the Wasted Life
        7.      The Great Depression
        8.      Pale
        9.      Arsenic on the Rocks
        10.     The Ones

Industrial to Indie Rock, New Wave to Black Metal, Folk to Gothic,
Rock to Gansta Rap.
Sounds Like
Everyone else... but different...

Review by Bill Gallagher

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